Thursday, 31 October 2019

Halloa Halloween … Memento Mori …




These photos came to light when I was sorting my Ma’s stuff out … and thought as she’d have been 99 now – they were appropriate to show … 

Too late for me - but what about you?




... they’re from about 40 years ago … and there’s a young one of me … pink shirt + more hair!!



Side view ... 




I must have been in South Africa, as I don’t remember seeing her in these outfits … 



Reverse ... bones and ... 




... my Ma was a great fund raiser for the west Cornwall community … fairly obvious when you see these photos … and somewhere there’s some of her as a rhubarb plant!


Stepping out ... 




Then to change the tone of this post I found a brochure on this collection with an anonymous photo, taken in 1942, which appeared in an exhibition I went to see in 2012/13 … ‘Death: The Richard Harris Collection’ …

From the brochure - 1942
the photo for Room 5, titled
 'Commemoration'




… as the brochure describes: ‘at the heart of the exhibition are questions about the value of art in communicating ideas about death and the body’ ...



'Vanitas Still Life with a Bouquet and a Skull' (detail)
Adriaen van Utrecht (1599 - 1652)




... while the note at the end of the introduction advises about the exhibition: ‘Sometimes disturbing, occasionally macabre and often moving, the images on display provide a singular insight into the history of our eternal desire to make peace with death’.




A young me in pink ...  with Care Home staff ...

… perhaps after all – it is 101 years since the end of World War 1 – I will draft something up from the above exhibition … 








... some art work, with some quotes … for November 11th … I can’t really omit Remembrance Day this year.






Heralding Happy Halloween


On a lighter note – I leave you with one or two more amusing photos of my Mama …








Happy Halloweenjust don’t get tempted by the sweets, or should I say candy, that will no doubt abound …



Mum working in the garden at
the Care Home she ran



Wellcome Collection – press release for Death: ASelf-Portrait  (Richard Harris is a former antique print dealer from Chicago)




PS Memento Mori – is Latin for ‘remember you will die’ …




Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

49 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

LOVE those photos - and your mother's costume. It looks as if she refused to do anything by halves.
Nice to see an early photo of you as well.

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Great costume your mum had. Interesting post theme. How's life in Vancouver? x

Mason Canyon said...

Great photos of both you and your mother. Just from the photos I would image she would not let anything hold her back. Happy Halloween to you!

Jz said...

PERFECT post for the day! I think our moms would have gotten along like houses a-fire.
If you find the rhubarb picture, I hope you share. :-)

That exhibition sounds interesting - as long as there are none of those flayed bodies. Those push my creep-factor button just a little too hard. *shiver*

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Good morning Hilary: Your mom seemed like quite a character, and I am confident in saying that she would applaud the quirky gem her daughter turned out to be. I have never found one of these old treasure troves of photographs but I am sure it is fun to go through them and revive old memories and delight in the surprise of discovering facts and circumstances about which you knew nothing before. As for death, phooey I say, let it happen. Not much I can do about it anyway. In the meantime, let me enjoy another sip of wine and another nibble at the Stilton. That old aphorism about "eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die" is as true now as it ever was.

Elsie Amata said...

I love the photos of your mother. She looks like someone who loved to live life! I went to a memorial service for our clients yesterday. The theme was similar to the exhibition only not disturbing at all; make peace with death.

Elsie

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Bbbwwhwhahahahahahahaahha!!! Your mum was fun, of this, there can be no doubt! What a fabulous post for Spooky Day. Thank you for sharing her with us, Hilary. YAM xx

Joanne said...

How fun!!! Your mum knew how to live. This all made me smile - not fearing the Reaper.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC – thanks … I thought it was a good time to put them up – and they brought back lots of memories. She certainly set out her goals and went for them … she didn’t stop til she achieved. Thanks re the ‘young me’!!

@ Madeleine – having come across these photos they seemed appropriate for Halloween … and I’m clearing things out – that I never got round to before I went off to Canada: I’ve been back nearly a year … we emailed in July, when I mentioned my return … but I get so muddled with friends, let alone blogging friends when they shift continents … I had a lovely time on the Island – beautiful area.

@ Mason – yes … once she made her mind up – that was it … she was off – exactly as you say. I’m hoping for a peaceful day!!

@ Jz – thank you … and she did enjoy being out and about meeting people; she was really interested in the blogging world – so it was a pity she just missed out this phase of life on the internet.

I’m going to post about the Exhibition – as I feel able to do so now … putting the emphasis as described above: ‘at the heart of the exhibition are questions about the value of art in communicating ideas about death and the body’ … it’s worth knowing about … though I won’t be too descriptive – just giving an idea …

@ David – thank you: an interesting description for her beloved daughter ‘quirky gem’!! – I can see her twitching her laughter, and raising her eyebrows … the bursting out laughing – at the thought! Thank you …

We haven’t got lots … but none of us having children … it’s time to have a good clear out – which will allow me to bring memories back. I never thought I was particularly interested in family history – we’d never really discussed it at home … yet now I’m trying to find out about as much as I can: and fortunately we have some relatives, who achieved a great deal and which are documented …

I’m quite looking forward to writing about the ‘Death’ exhibition … now seems a good time …

Stilton and port wine seem a very good combination to eat drink and be merry tonight and then whenever the thought tempts you through the autumn and winter days … I think I’d join you …

@ Elsie – thank you … it was a good thing the weather held! She did live life to the full …

I find funerals sad, but interesting … especially as our horizons have broadened and I know I look at things, since blogging, in a different light …

@ Yam – yes … she certainly amused … so I’m delighted she (at 99 if she’d lived) can spook us out today –Halloween 2019. Glad you enjoyed the photos …

@ Joanne – she raised a lot of money for the Penzance/Newlyn area in Cornwall … and they make me smile seeing them here. It’s interesting … I was thinking about the Grim Reaper yesterday … if he has some candy with him – I’ll be happy! We have Guy Fawkes next week … and he would have brought my death to an earlier day … the Grim Reaper – means my time is still to come!

Thanks so much to you all – I’m glad the photos are here and should the rhubarb one appear – then I’ll put it up with rhubarb crumble and Cornish cream, which she’d have loved … later in 2020: in the summer. Enjoy your Halloweens … I shall be hiding inside! Cheers Hilary

Kay G. said...

Yes, one day we will die but every other day we will live! Totally stole that from a Peanuts cartoon but lots of wisdom there. Your Mom must have been a hoot and of course, I mean that in a very good way. 👍

Lynda Dietz said...

Your mom looks like someone I would have enjoyed knowing. Have the best of days today!

troutbirder said...

Fascinating as always. Also thank you so very much Hillary on you kind words to me on my wife's passing.....ray

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Quite a character, to judge by these photos!

lostinimaginaryworlds.blogspot.com said...

What a great collection of photographs showing a wonderful humorous woman!

Sandra Cox said...

Thanks for sharing. These were grand. Especially loved the first and the 'Heralding Halloween'.
Cheers,

Liz A. said...

It's great to find old photos and take a trip down memory lane.

dolorah said...

As a wise man once said: Everyone dies, its how you live that makes a difference.

Your mum looks like she was a lot of fun. I have always loved Halloween - I love the scary stuff.

Hope you had a great evening :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kay – you’re right … we must remember to live as we travel the road to the final day. My Ma was great …

@ Lynda – I’m sure she’d have loved meeting everyone in the blogosphere …

@ Ray – thank you … and good to see you here, while I feel for you and your wife’s passing … take care …

@ John – she was … and she did live life to the full …

@ Carole – they have been fun to post up … she was amazing, but then she’s my Ma!

@ Sandra – glad you enjoyed them … the first I cropped to highlight her hat, while the Herald was another time … I guess they were tea towels with a border sewn round …

@ Liz – yes … most of them must go … as totally unnecessary to keep – no reason … but fun to find …

@ Donna – you’re right … the quote is quite correct – it’s how we live that makes life worth it … Mum made a difference to so many lives …

We don’t do Halloween over here (well didn’t!) – as our Bonfire Night and Guy Fawkes occur on the 5th November … and they are our bonfire party time …

Thanks so much to you all for visiting … we’ve entered November with a delightful (!) misty day!! Better than thick snow or teeming rain I guess – cheers Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

I saw a lot of costumes out and about last but none like that! Lovely photos, wonderful memories.

Jo said...

How lovely to have those old photos. I have no idea what happened to my mother's photos, she was here when she died and her "stuff" was in the UK. My cousin dealt with the estate. Pity, the only thing I wanted was the old family photos.

Jacqui Murray said...

What a crackerjack was your mom. I miss mine still.

Lisa said...

Your mum seems like she was quite a character! LOVE that skeleton costume! Well done. What lovely memories...

Murees Dupè said...

Your mum was fierce. I love it.

Murees Dupè said...

She knew how to make life worth living😉 And keeping things fun.

Deborah Weber said...

Such a fabulous heart-warming post Hilary. It's a delight to peek into your life and see these precious photos.

Anabel Marsh said...

Hilarious costumes! Your mother was a trooper. I also like the 70s one - it has to be 70s with those wide legged trousers! I wore them too. I’d trip over them now.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith – at least it was dry … it was wasn’t it? They’re out here now – and it’s tipping it down! Thanks re the photos and memories … lots of those …

@ Jo – yes … but I can tell you it’s lots of work to sort out – thankfully my brothers don’t seem to want any of them … so I shall go my own way. Pity about your mother … it’s the way it is isn’t it … life is, life is … I hope you have a few photos to remember yourselves in those early years …

@ Jacqui – fun aren’t they … and yes missing our mothers is what happens … thank goodness for them!

@ Lisa – having found those photos I suddenly thought ah I could put these up for Halloween and give us all a laugh – seems to be working … and I agree the skeleton costume is just brilliant …

@ Murees – thank you … she just made her way and that was the way it went – she was strong and yes definitely raised a lot of money through dressing up like this …

@ Deborah – thank you … makes me smile … Mum’s life while I was off and away – but precious as you say …

@ Anabel – they are hilarious aren’t they … you’re right I suspect it was 1977 … but note my trousers aren’t wide-legged … I’ve never been into fashion … actually oddly enough the only jeans I possess now are wide-ankled … pain in the butt they are … they’re my ‘rough jeans’!!

Lovely seeing you … and am glad you’re enjoying the photos … we have to laugh over Halloween – cheers Hilary

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Wow that skeleton costume was crazy. LOVE the picture of you. So pretty.

retirementreflections said...

Hi, Hilary - What wonderful photos. I recently saw (for the first tie) a photo album of my mom when she was 16. If you're anything like me, it's easy to forget that our parents were young with full, rich and fun lives Inspiring post!

D.G. Kaye said...

What a fun and nostalgic post Hilary. Loved the old photos and seeing your mum and you in pink!!! Hope your Halloween was spooktacular! <3

Debbie D. said...

Your mum was obviously having a good time! ☺ And you looked lovely in pink. I hope your Halloween was serene. Cheers!

Vallypee said...

What fun your mum must have been! I can't imagine mine dressing up like that at all! You look lovely in your pink blouse and jeans. Thank you so much for sharing your family memories with us! I hope Guy Fawkes night is a peaceful one in your part of the world.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Teresa - yes .. Mum was really clever with this costume ... but fun memories - and ah yes those days of late 1970s ...

@ Donna - I've found a few ... probably more than a few - but I'll be sorting them through. I saw my Ma in 1935 or so in Calcutta - but those are the only ones.

I know a little about my Ma's early years ... as her father died when she was 3 ... and her mother remarried, someone she wasn't fond of!, but not a lot of happy times for her - except at school - and similarly my father too - but they were not easy times the 1920s and 30s. My mother particularly made up for things later in life ... after the War ...

@ Donna - yes it's been good to put these few up ... and me in slimmer days with a lot more hair ... fortunately skooktacular didn't come into it - and it was very wet! ... puts me off!

@ Debie - yes she did love fund raising and was extremely good at it ... dressed like this - the funds rolled in!

Pink is really my colour ... probably was - but it's cheerful ... Eastbourne was relatively quiet - I think! Serene ... yes.

@ Val - she made her way in life ... really opening doors for herself and living life to the full. I watched some family fireworks a little way away, without having to leave my armchair ... and heard a lot from the seafront last night - in a gap in the weather ...

Thanks so much for visiting and commenting ... on life with my Ma ... it was all good ... now we await to see what November 5th and Guy Fawkes brings ... sparkles and noise - cheers Hilary

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I'm glad you found that treasure trove of old photos. You must've had fun looking through them... slowly, I'd imagine, as each one brought more memories to mind. Thank you for sharing them with us. Your mother must've been a real bundle of energy with a great sense of humor. I have a feeling her daughter is very much like her.

Cheers!

Victoria Marie Lees said...

What a great costume, Hilary! Your mother must have been some woman, always caring for others. I love looking through old photographs. Each one tells a story about the people in them. Having just lost my own mother, I believe we always carry their love in our hearts. All best to you!

Sandra Cox said...

Love the family photo.
Have a grand week.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan - I still must look through them properly and de-clutter a great many of them ... this winter seems the time. I've been drafting some memoir notes of brief stories from days gone by ... and these of course trigger more.

My mother didn't like being beaten at anything she'd set her mind to ... but the fund raising was really her true love ... she cared for everyone. I hope I've inherited all those traits of hers ...

@ Victoria - yes she always did care for others ... particularly in the Care Home she developed and owned - once the family had left for their own lives. As you say ... memories come flooding back of the days round the photo.

I'm sorry about your loss ... but hope this brought happy memories of the life with your mother, and her being able to see you and the children through your life ...

@ Sandra - they are fun, aren't they ...

Cheers to you all - Guy Fawkes day ... I remember the autumn mists with family fireworks ... Hilary

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary! It's always moving to look at old photos, especially those of mums who have passed. She must have been a great character. Loved seeing the younger you also. Cheers!

Sherry Ellis said...

I bet your mom had a lot of fun in that costume!

David Powers King said...

Wow, those costumes would stand up well if worn today! That's the mark of a truly gifted costumer. :)

cleemckenzie said...

Your mom had quite the flair for having fun! You must have inherited it from her the way you create such interesting posts. Loved this one.

Nilanjana Bose said...

What a priceless treasure trove! Your mum left a major contribution. Memento mori...but so long as we leave something worthwhile behind us to be remembered by.

Nostalgic and happy post, Hilary, love old photos, you look lovely in pink! :-)

Have a great week.

mail4rosey said...

Love the photos (and how awesome that she ran a care house). The costume pics are great. That outfit went all out.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Denise – I think I’ll be making a few rounds of the photos to clear the decks of unnecessary albums and photos. These have been fun to find – and that one of me: well brings back memories too …

@ Sherry – I think she did … she enjoyed being out and about and mostly anonymously – as one is in a costume …

@ David – hand-made … I’ve no idea what happened to it – but she had an excellent ‘dressmaker – for mending clothes and furnishings’ at the home, who would have helped a great deal …

@ Lee – yes … she was in her element raising funds and helping others out. I’ve no idea where my ‘ability’ has come from … like her I prefer to do things differently …

@ Nila – whoever took the photos certainly had ‘Memento Mori’ about my mother … so we could remember. She definitely made a difference to many … and yes a nostalgic and happy post to write up …

@ Rosey – she loved old people and started working as a manager at a new home, and then converted an old hotel into a Care Home … she was determined to help others …

Wonderful to see you all and to read your kind thoughts – cheers Hilary

Mark Koopmans said...

Like so many others, I LOVE those pictures - and those bellbottoms are from a whole other magic time. For real.

So nice of you to share a snippet of your life from back then when and I'm sure you had lots of fun with this post :)

PS: You Mom sounded like such a fun-loving person and you've definitely inherited those genes (but not the bellbottom jeans, I hope!!)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Hilary,

Your mum certainly had a wonderful sense of humor! Good for her! I love a person who lives life to the fullest, and it seems you have inherited that from her. I'm sure is smiling from heaven right now....

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mark - aren't they wonderful ... so glad I've got them. Well my bell-bottoms would have been cheap and cheerful - but glad they're reminding everyone of another era - times pass us by.

It made sense to write it up here ... Halloween and all ... I enjoy coming back to it! Mum was great - always entering into things and getting involved, while learning too - she was amazed with the things we discussed while she in her last few years ... we spent a lot of time together ...

@ Michael - yes she gave of the fullest and lived as full as she was able ... always there for others. I sincerely hope both my parents are looking down on their children - understanding and loving them all the more now ...

Thanks to you two - mothers are so important for us all - cheers Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I love the stories about your mum. And to have pictures to go with them is wonderful. Thank you for sharing all these special memories, Hilary. It warmed my heart.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Joylene - it was fun to write up and to know I had the photos ... just fun times - even if I wasn't there ... being in South Africa. Delighted you enjoyed it ... lovely to see you - cheers Hilary